UK Holiday Parks - Digital Marketing Benchmark Report, Q2 2023

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The Q2 2023 benchmarking report for UK holiday parks has just been published. Learn how the top 12 UK holiday parks perform across the digital space.

The latest Q2 2023 benchmarking report for UK holiday parks has just been published. It covers the largest 12 national holiday parks, including Haven, Butlin’s, John Fowler, Hoburne Holidays, Pontins, Parkdean Resorts, Away Holidays, Park Holidays, Hoseasons, Break Free Holidays, Centre Parcs and Forest Holidays.  Holiday Park Logos

The research gives an inside track on who is winning the biggest share of voice online, and quantifies the gaps, risks and missed opportunities for other holiday parks to win brand exposure, drive online enquiries, and generate holiday bookings. The report highlights year-on-year digital performance, plus winner and loser comparisons across 20+ online performance metrics and quantifies the gaps, risks and missed opportunities for holiday parks to win brand exposure, online growth and sales.

To see a preview and contents page of the Q2 report, click here. To get a copy of the full report and the key takeaways, please complete the enquiry form or schedule a call. Digital Benchmark Report - Holiday Parks - Q2 2023

What The Industry Research Report Covers

The 70+ pages of research benchmarks each retailer based on 50+ metrics and indicators of successful digital strategy, including organic visibility, domain authority, paid media ads, conversion performance, technical performance, site speed, universal search, content, social ads, accessibility, and mobile performance.  

Driving Optimal ROAS from Paid Media Channels

Some of the leading players in the space are high spenders on paid media channels such as Google, Bing & Facebook - but have a poor or sub-optimal conversion improvement strategy. Without an optimised, sophisticated conversion strategy that maximises the conversion rate, the return on investment is unsustainable or will underperform. Scaling spend on paid media is not achievable unless the conversion rate delivers optimal performance in the sector. Some in the space have paid media spend levels from 30k+ per month but dedicate minimal resources and budgets to conversion testing.  Given the cost per clicks on ad networks will continue to rise, we recommend spending at least 10% of your paid media budget on ongoing conversion optimisation testing schedules to ensure your paid media ROI maintains long-term viability, competitive advantage, and sustainability.

Technical Website Compliance

Savvy digital marketers know that having a technically sound website is an essential component of a successful fully integrated digital strategy - plus a site capable of maximising conversion performance. Holiday parks will want to ensure key information such as pricing and activities are clearly signposted, and that important content is not hidden behind broken links and 404 error codes.

In our last report, we noted that John Fowler had the highest level of 4xx error codes present, with a total of 243. In Q2, John Fowler have increased this figure to 279. John Fowler must ensure that the removal of any content is not impacting technical website compliance and that effective redirects are in place, to guide users to alternative pages.

Site Speed & Conversion Rate Performance

When 62% of consumers are less likely to convert if they have a negative mobile site experience, ensuring that your site is quick and easy to load makes a significant improvement on your overall conversion rates. In a competitive field where prospective holiday goers will be looking to snap up deals quickly, having a fast-performing site is essential for holiday parks to generate bookings and provide a positive brand experience

While, in our last report, three holiday parks were previously sitting within the 'okay' score range for mobile page speed, of 50-89, no parks have managed to hit this benchmark in Q2. John Fowler have seen the biggest drop, with their score falling from 73 to 27. John Fowler must review whether recent changes would have negatively impacted their user experience, and slowed down their site's usability.

Building Competitive Advantage with Domain Authority

Domain authority is an essential metric for measuring the effectiveness of SEO performance, and helps create a reliable overall gauge of how effective your site is at achieving organic traffic, i.e. ‘free’ traffic that isn’t gained through sponsored ads. Holiday parks could look to collaborate with and outreach to local & national publications, travel sites, and family bloggers to gain valuable backlinks from high-authority sites.

A ‘good’ DA really comes down to how your competitors are performing, however it’s generally considered average between 40 and 50, good between 50 and 60, and excellent above 60. In Q2 we saw the DA range from 72 to 31, with Break Free Holidays, at the end of this scale, having improved by one point.

Organic Performance – Mobile & Desktop

A strong organic performance is strategically important as it ensures your site ranks above competitors for key, transactional keywords. When 93% of your customers won’t go past the first page of Google, your absence or lack of targeting for essential keywords will cost you conversions. As consumers are cutting back on treats and expendable items due to the cost of living crisis, you might expect general, overall traffic towards the holiday sector to have fallen year on year. However, with families potentially looking to UK breaks as a cost-effective alternative to holidays abroad, park brands who are capitalising on this change in consumer habits will see much stronger performance than competitors.

Four holiday parks are seeing an increase in organic mobile traffic year on year, with the biggest increase of 66% coming from Centre Parcs (who also secured the largest increase in traffic in our last report). In Q4, we noted that John Fowler had seen the biggest loss in traffic year on year. However, with a loss of 35%, Break Free holidays are now seeing the biggest fall in mobile visitors.

Universal Search Opportunity

Google Universal Search Results is an evolving opportunity to make your pages visible on a SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Universal results often appear before traditional listings and are eye-catching for users. Universal search results refer to rankings on a SERP that are not the traditional ‘blue line’ Google link, and a retailer can appear for universal search results without being strong in standard rankings. 'Reviews', 'images', and 'local pack' results are all ways for holiday parks to gain trust, and share eye-catching content about their locations, directly from the SERP.

Reviews remain the most-used Universal Search result in terms of volume, however, only 'people also ask' results are being used by all twelve holiday parks. While Hoseasons are securing the highest total Universal Search results, the vast majority are 'reviews' results. Diversifying their approach will improve visibility, and result in better-occupation of search engine results.

The Longtail Keyword Opportunity

Longtail keywords are often considered high intent and potentially more likely to convert as a searcher is being more specific. Optimising for longtail keywords also puts your content strategy in a strong position to rank for retailer new search terms as they enter Google’s index. Holiday parks should be looking to optimise for keywords with high purchase/booking intent, that indicate a user at the lower part of the conversion funnel.

While Parkdean Resorts are ranking for the most longtail keywords overall, with the most appearances in the top three positions, Hoseasons are ranking for the most keywords in positions 4-20, with a total of 28,127. This represents the biggest opportunity of any holiday park to improve performance on longtail keywords and, by optimising content for existing rankings, Hoseasons can expect to overtake their competitors.

Facebook Adverts

With the number of Facebook users in the United Kingdom (UK) forecast to hit over 42 million users by 2022, it is not surprising that companies have jumped at the opportunity to advertise on the social media platform. Facebook’s UK digital advertising revenue has been estimated to have breached 2.6b GB pounds in 2019.

Hoseasons have favoured the carousel ad type below, running with different ads focusing on the outdoors, the beach, and last-minute aspects of their breaks. Using different messaging and visuals across different ad formats ensures they can match the right ad to the right audience, and encourage ad engagement.

Hoseasons Facebook Ads June 2023

Top Social Shares & Content

When it comes to social media and on-site content strategies, it is important to release content that has a longer shelf life. An article is considered 'Evergreen' if it has maintained its relevancy to an audience for longer. It's great for your retailer engagement, but great for Google too, who will recognise content which achieves traffic over a long period of time. Holiday parks can create content based on their activities, local area, or even to-do lists for families in the run-up to their break away.

Meta is the preferred network of all twelve holiday parks, with the most engagements being seen by Hoseasons. Center Parcs, however, have the largest audience, with 453,500 Facebook likes and 146,300 Instagram followers. this suggests that Hoseason's content is more engaging, and more likely to capture attention from users.

Website Readability & Accessibility

20% of people in the UK have a disability – 2 million of which are people living with sight loss. In addition, 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women have some degree of colour vision deficiency. When websites are not designed to meet these needs, retailers lose customer interest as they turn elsewhere. Holiday parks must be accessible for all, as poor accessibilty on-site may even indicate to a partially sighted user that the park itself may be unsuitable.

As with our previous report, Away Holidays are hitting the highest number of errors, returning 107 in our crawls. Pontins should also be concerned, with our audit showing 90 contrast errors. Looking into Pontins' site, we can also see large volumes of very small text, which would be difficult for someone with a vision deficiency to read.



For a glance into just 6 of the metrics, we evaluated these top 12 holiday parks on, check out our quick-look table below; HolidayParks W&L June23-1


To get a copy of the full report, please complete the enquiry form. If you want to talk to us about accelerating your digital performance, please call us on 01543 410014 or schedule a call with Mike Movassaghi.

Photo by Ahmad Fatikh on Unsplash

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